Smokers are aware of the overall health risks of smoking but many are blind to the fact that smoking can cause significant damage and accelerate the ageing process of their eyes.
Approximately 80% of the information received by a person comes through the eyes yet 3.5 million Australians are still risking their eyesight through smoking.
Smokers are likely to develop cataracts – a symptom of ageing – earlier and more severely than non-smokers and may be exposing themselves to eye diseases such as glaucoma and Graves’ disease.
Smoking can double the risk of some forms of age-related macular degeneration, a disease that can destroy your vision.
Vision One Eyecare encourages patients to give up smoking for the sake of their vision and overall health. We regularly see patients in our practice who are completely unaware that their smoking habits are impacting on their eyes and vision.
Most of us are aware that if we choose to smoke we face the risk of cancer and other serious diseases, but few consider that this habit can degrade our eyesight.
Aside from irreparably destroying vision, smoking can cause complications for contact lens wearers, can impair our night vision and may even affect unborn children.
Smoking during pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of strabismus in children – inward or outward turning of the eyes.
Everyone should get their eyes checked once every two years, and smokers who are worried about their vision can also receive some support and advice about how smoking is impacting their eyes and sight.
Vision is our most precious sense, so it is important for people to understand the immediate and long-term consequences smoking can have on their vision.
Smoking is the single largest cause of preventable death and disease in Australia; equating to around 16,000 deaths each year.